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For his vast soul, and then he starts out wide, Can any Roman see and know him now,
Oh, Antony !
Thou bravest soldier, and thou best of friends! And not forgiving what as man he dich,
Bountcous as nature, next to nature's God! Because his other parts are more than man. Couldst thou but make new worlds, so wouldst lle must not thus be lost.
thou give them, [ALEXAS and the priests come forward. As bounty were thy being. Rough 'm battle Aler. You have your full instructions; now ad- As the first Romans, when they went to war, vance;
Yet, after victory, more pitiful Proclaim your orders loudly.
Than all their praying virgins left at home! Ser. Romans ! Egyptians ! hear the queen's Aler. Would you could add to those more commaud.
shining virtues, Thus Cleopatra bids : Let·laboor cease;
His truth to her, who loves him. To pomp and triumphs give this happy day,
Vent. Would I could not ! That gave the world a lord; 'tis Antony's. But wherefore waste I precious hours with thee? Live Antony, and Cleopatra live!
Thou art her darling mischief, her chief engine, Be this the general voice sent up to heaven, Antony's other fate. Go tell thy queen, And every public place repeat this echo.
Ventidius is arrived to end her charms. Vent. Fine pageantry!
[Aside. Let your Egyptian timbrels play alone, Ser. Set out before your doors
Nor mix effeminate sounds with Roman trumpets. The images of all your sleeping fathers,
You dare not fight for Antony; go pray, With laurels crowned; with laurels wreath your And keep your cowards' holiday in temples. posts,
[Exeunt Aler. Serap. And strew with powers the pavement; let the priest
Re-enter the Gentleman of MARC Antony. Do present sacrifice, pour out the wine,
2 Gent. The emperor approaches, and comAnd call the gods to join with you in gladness.
mands, Vent. Curse on the tongue that bids this ge- On pain of death, that none presume to stay. neral joy !
1 Gent. I dare not disobey him. Can they be friends to Antony, who revel
[Going out with the other. When Antony's in danger? Hide, for shame, Vent. Well, I dare : You Romans, your great grandsires images, But I'll observe him first, unseen, and find For fear their souls should animate their marbles, which way his humour drives: the rest I'll venTo blush at their degenerate progeny.
[Withdraus. Alex. A love, which knows no bounds to Antony,
Enter Antony, walking with a disturbed moWould mark the day with honours; when all
tion before he speaks. Ileaven
Ant. They tell me,
and I'll Laboured for him, when each propitious star Stood wakeful in his orb to watch that hour, With double pomp of sadness : And shed his better intluence : her own birth-day 'Tis what the day deserves, which gave me breath. Our queen neglected, like a vulgar fate,
Why was I raised the meteor of the world, That passed obscurely by.
Hlung in the skies, and blazing as I travelled, Vent. Would it had slept
Till all my fires were spent, and then cast downDivided far from his, till some remote
ward, And future age had called it out to ruin To be trod out by Cæsar? Some other prince, not him!
Vent. (Aside] On my soul Alex. Your emperor,
'Tis mournful, wondrous mourful ! Tho' grown unkind, would be more gentle than Ant. Count thy gains To upbraid my queen for loving him too well. Now, Antony; wouldst thou be born for this? l'ent. Does the mute sacrifice upbraid the Glutton of fortune, thy devouring youth priest?
Has starved thy wanting age. He knows him not his executioner.
Vent. (Aside] How sorrow shakes him! Oh! she has decked his ruin with her love, So, now the tempest tears him up by the roots, Led him in golden bands to gaudy slaughter, And on the ground extends the noble ruin. And made perdition pleasing : she has left him Ant. (Having thrown himself down] Lie there, The blank of what he was.
thou shadow of an emperor; I tell thee, eunuch, she has quite unmanned him : The place, thou pressest on thy mother earth,
Is all thy empire now: now it contains thee; My mother comes afresh into my eyes :
he weeps! (For Cleopatra will not live to see it)
The big round drops course one another down Octavia then will have thee all her own,
The furrows of his cheeks. Stop them, Ventidius, And bear thee in her widowed hand to Cæsar; Or I shall blush to death; they set my shame, Cæsar will weep, the crocodile will weep, That caused them, full before me. To see his rival of the universe
Vent. I'll do my
best. Lie still and peaceful there. I'll think no more Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of of it.
friends; Give me some music; look, that it be sad. See, I have caught it too. Believe me 'tis not I'll soothe my melancholy, till
. I swell
For my own griefs but thine -Nay, father And burst myself with sighing- [Soft music.
Vent. Emperor: 'Tis somewhat to my humour. Stay, I fancy Ant. Emperor! why that's the style of vicI'm now turned wild, a commoner of nature;
tory : Of all forsaken, and forsaking all,
The conquering soldier, red with unfelt wounds, Live in a shady forest's sylvan scene,
Salutes his general so; but never more Stretched at my length beneath some blasted Shall that sound reach my ears. oak,
Vent. I warrant you. I lean my head upon the mossy bark,
Ant. Actium, Actium ! OhAnd look just of a piece as I grew from it: Vent. It sits too near you. My uncombed locks, matted like misletve,
Ant. Here, here it lies, a lump of lead by day, Hang o'er my hoary face; a murmuring brook And, in
short distracted nightly slumbers, . Runs at my foot
The hag, that rides my dreamsVent. Methinks I fancy
Vent. Out with it; give it vent. Myself there too.
Ant. Urge not, my shame--:
I lost a battle.
Ant. Thou favourest me, and speakest not half More of this image, more; it lulls my thoughts. thou thinkest;
[Soft music again. For Julius fought it out, and lost it fairly; Vent. I must disturb him : I can hold no lon- But Antony, ger.
[Stands before him. Vent. Nay, stop not. Ant. (Starting up] Art thou Ventidius? Ant. Antony Vent. Are you Antony?
(Well, thou wilt have it) like a coward fled, I'm liker what I was than you to him
Fled, while his soldiers fought; fled first, VentiI left you last.
dius. Ant. I'm angry.
Thou longest to curse me, and I give thee leave; Vent. So am I
I know thou camest prepared to rail. Ant. I would be private. Leave me.
Vent. I did. Vent. Sir, I love you,
Ant. I'll help thee I have been a man, VenAnd therefore will not leave you.
tidius. Ant. Will not leave me !
Vent. Yes, and a brave one; butWhere have you learnt that answer? Who am I? Ant. I know thy meaning. l'ent. My emperor ; the man I love next But I have lost iny reason, have disgraced heaven:
The name of soldier with inglorious ease; If I said more, I think 'twere scarce a sin: In the full vintage of my flowing honours You're all that's good and godlike.
, and saw it prest by other hands ; Ant. All that's wretched.
Fortune came, smiling to my youths
, and wooed it, You will not leave me then?
And purple greatness met my ripened years. Vent. 'Twas too prosuming
When first I came to empire, I was borne To say I would not; but I dare not leave you; On tides of people, crowding to my triumphs, And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence The wish of nations, and the willing world Su soon, when I so far have come to see you. Received me as its pledge of futuve peace. Ant. Now thou hast seen me, art thou satis- I was so great, so happy, so beloved, fied?
Fate could not ruin me, till I took pains, For, if a friend, thou hast beheld enough, And worked against my fortune,. chid her from And, if a foe, too much.
me, Vent. Look, emperor, this is no common dew: And turned her loose; yet still she came again.
[Weeping. My careless days, and my luxurious nights, I have not wept this forty years; but now At length have wearied liér, and now she's gone,
Gone, gone, divorced for ever. Help me, sol- Vent. Most firm and loyal. dier,
Ant. Yet they will not march To curse this madman, this industrious fool, To succour me? Ob trifler ! Who laboured to be wretched. Pr’ythee curse
Vent. They petition me.
You would make haste to head them. Vent. No.
Ant. I'm besieged. Ant. Why?
Vent. There's but one way
shut up-How camere Vent. You are too sensible already
I hither? Of what you have done, too conscious of your Ant. I will not stir. failings,
Vent. They would perhaps desire And, like a scorpion, whipt by others first
A better reason. To fury, sting yourself in mad revenge.
Ant. I have never used I would bring balm, and pour it in your wounds, My soldiers to denrand a reason of Cure your distempered mind, and heal your for- My actions. Why did they refuse to march?
Vent. They said they would not fight for Clea Ant. I know thou wouldst.
patra. Vent. I will.
Ant. What was it they said ? Ant. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Vent. They said they would not fight for CleoVent. You laugh.
patra : Ant. I do, to see officious love
Why should they fight indeed to make her conGive cordials to the dead.
quer, Vent. You would be lost then?
And make you more a slave? to gain you kingAnit. I am.
doms, Vent. I say you are not. Try your fortune. Which for a kiss, at your next midnight feast, Ant. I have to the utmost. Dost thou think You'll sell to her? - Then she new-names her me desperate
jewels, Without just cause ? No, when I found all lost And calls this diamond such or such a tax; Beyond repair, I hid me from the world, Each pendant in her ear shall be a province. And learned to scorn it here, which now I do Ani. Ventidius, I allow your tongue free liSo heartily, I think it is not worth The cost of keeping.
On all my other faults, but, on your life,
No word of Cleopatra ! she deserves
Ant. No, I can kill myself, and so resolve. See Europe, Afric, Asia, put in balance,
woman! But fortune calls upon us now to live,
I think the gods are Antonies, and give, To fight, to conquer.
Like prodigals, this nether world away Ant. Sure thou dreamest, Ventidius.
To none but wasteful hands. Vent. No, 'tis you dream ; you sleep away
Ant. You grow presumptuous.
Vent. I take the privilege of plain love to In desperate sloth, miscalled philosophy.
speak. Up, up, for honour's sake! twelve legions wait Ant. Plain love! plain arrogance, plain insoyou,
lence ! And long to call you chief: by painful journies Thy men are cowards, thou an envious traitor, I led them, patient both of heat and hunger, Who, under seeming honesty, hath vented Down from the Parthian marches of the Nile: The burden of thy rank o'erflowing gall. 'Twill do you good to see their sunburnt faces, Oh that thou wert my equal, great in arms Their scarred cheeks, and chopt hands: there's As the first Cæsar was, that I might kill thee, virtue in them:
Without stain to my honour! They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates
Vent. You may Than yon trim bands can buy.
You have done more already, called me traitor. Ant. Where left you them?
Ant. Art thou not one? Vent. I said in Lower Syria.
Vent. For shewing you yourself, Ant. Bring them hither;
Which none else durst have done? But had I been There may be life in these.
That name, which I disdain to speak again, Vent. They will not come.
I needed not have sought your abject fortunes, Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with Come to partake your fate, to die with you. promised aids
What hindered me to have led my conquering To double my despair? they are mutinous.
kill me :
To fill Octavia's bands? I could have been And I will leave her, though heaven knows I love A traitor then, a glorious happy traitor,
Beyond life, conquest, empire, all but honour : And not have been so called.
But I will leave her. Ant. Forgive me, soldier;
Vent. That is my royal master. I have been too passionate.
And shall we fight? Vent. You thought me false,
Ant. I warrant thee, old soldier; Thought my old age betrayed you. Kill me, sir, Thou shalt behold me once again in iron, Pray kill me: yet you need not; your unkindness And at the head of our old troops, that beat Has left your sword no work.
The Parthians, cry aloud, ‘Conne, follow me.' Ant. I did not think so;
Vent. Oh, now I hear my emperor! In that I said it in my rage: prithee forgive me.
word Why didst thou tempt my anger by discovery Octavius fell. Gods ! let me see that day, Of what I would not hear?
And if I have ten years behind, take all; Vent. No prince, but you,
I'll thank you for the exchange. Could merit that sincerity, I used;
Ant. oh, Cleopatra ! Nor durst another man have ventured it :
Vent. Again ! But you, ere love misled your wandering eyes, Ant. I have done; in that last sigh she went. Were sure the chief and best of human race, Cæsar shall know what it is to force a lover Framed in the very pride and boast of nature; From all he holds most dear. So perfect, that the gods, who formed you, won- Vent. Methinks you breathe dered
Another soul; your looks are most divine; At their own skill, and cried, ' A lucky hit You speak a hero, and you move a god. Has mended our design ! Their envy hindered, Ant, Oh, thou hast fired me! my soul's up in Else you had been immortal, and a pattern,
arms, When heaven would work for ostentation suke, And mans cach part about me.
Once again To copy out again.
That noble eagerness of fight has seized me, Ant. But Cleopatra
eagerness, with which I darted upward Go on, for I can bear it now.
To Cassius camp: in vain the steepy bill Vent. No more.
Opposed my way, in vain a war of spears Ant. Thou dar’st not trust my passion, but Sung round my head, and planted all my shield; thou mayest:
I won the trenches, while my
foremost men Thou only lovest, the rest have flattered me. Lagged on the plain below. Vent. Heaven's blessing on your heart for that Vent. Ye gods, ye gods, kind word!
For such another honour! May I believe you love me? Speak again.
Ant. Come on, my soldier; Ant. Indeed I do. Speak this, and this, and Our hearts and arms are still the same: I long this.
[Embracing him. Once more to meet our foes, that thou and I, Thy praises were unjust: but I'll deserve them, Like Time and Death, marching before our troops, And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt: May taste fate to them, mow them out a passage, Lead me to victory; thou knowest the way. And, entering where the foremost squadrons Vent. And will you leave this
yield, Ant. Prithee do not curse her,
Begin the noble harvest of the field. [Ereunt.
SCENE I.-A grand Saloon.
Each hour the victor's chain? These ills are
small, Enter CLEOPATRA, Iras, and Alexas.
For Antony is lost, and I can mourn Cleo. What shall I do, or whither shall I turn! For nothing else but him. Now come, Octavius; Ventidius has o'ercome, and he will go.
I have no more to lose; prepare thy bands; Aler. He goes to fight for you.
I am fit to be a captive : Antony Cleo. Then he would see me ere he went to Has taught my mind the fortune of a slave. fight.
Iras. Call reason to assist you. Flatter me not; if once he goes, he is lost,
Cleo. I have none, And all my hopes destroyed.
And none would have: my love's a noble raadAler. Does this weak passion Become a nighty queen?
Which shows, the cause deserved it. Moderate Cleo. I am no queen: Is this to be a queen, to be besieged
Fits vulgar love, and for a vulgar man; By yop insulting Roman, and to wait
But I have loved with such transcendent passion, Vol. I.
I soared at first quite out of reason's view, But making show as he would rub his eyes,
If what thou hast to say be not as pleasing,
And thereforeIras. Let it be past with you:
Cleo. Thou wouldst say he would not see me! Forget him, madam.
Char. And therefore begged you not to use a Cleo. Never, never, Iras :
power, Ile once was mine, and once, though now it is Which he could ill resist; yet he should ever gone,
Respect you as he ought. Leaves a faint image of possession still.
Cleo. Is that a word Aler. Think him inconstant, cruel, and un- For Antony to use to Cleopatra? grateful.
Oh, that faint word respect ! how I disdain it! Cleo. I cannot; if I could, those thoughts were Disdain myself for loving after it! vain :
He should have kept that word for cold Octavia; Faithless, ungrateful, cruel, though he be, Respect is for a wife. Am I that thing, I still inust love him..
That dull insipid lump, without desires,
And without power to give them?
Aler. You misjudge;
You see through love, and that deludes your sight, Will he be kind? and will he not forsake me? As what is straight seems crooked through the Am I to live or die? Nay, do I live,
A fearful slave, who fain would run away,
And shuns his master's eyes; if you pursue him, If thou br est comfort, haste and give it me, My life on it, he still drags a chain along, For never was more need.
That needs must clog his flight. Iras. I know he loves you.
Cleo. Could I believe thee Cleo. Had he been kind, her eyes had told Aler. By every circumstance I know he loves.
True, he is hard prest by interest and honour; Before her tongue could speak it: now she studies Yet le but doubts and parleys, and casts out To soften what he said: but give me death Many a long look for succour. Just as he sent it, Charmion, undisguised,
Cleo. He sends word And in the words he spoke.
He fears to see my face. Char. I found him then,
Aler. And would you more? Encompassed round, I think, with iron statues, He shows his weakness, who declines the combat; So mute, so motionless, his soldiers stood, And you must urge your fortune. Could he speak While awfully he cast his eyes about,
More plainly? to my cars the message sounds, And every leader's hopes and fears surveyed. 'Come to my rescue, Cleopatra, come! Methought he looked resolved, and yet not Come, free me from Ventidius, from my tyrant; pleased :
See me, and give me a pretence to leave him.' When he beheld me struggling in the crowd,
(A marck. He blushed, and bade make way.
I hear his trumpets. This way he must pass. Aler. There's comfort yet.
Please you retire a while; I'll work him first, Char. Ventidius fixed his eyes upon my pas- That he may bend more easy. sage
Cleo. You shall rule me, Severely, as he meant to frown me back, But all, I fear, in vain. [Erit with Char. and Iras, And sullenly gave place. I told my message,
Aler. I fear so too, Just as you gave it, broken and disordered; Though I concealed my thoughts to make her I numbered in it all your sighs and tears, wind while I moved your pitiful request,
But it is our utmost means, and fate befriend it. That you but only begged a last farewell,
(Withdraus. A march till all are on. He fetched an inward groan, and every time I named you, sighed, as if his heart were breaking, Enter Lictors with fasces, one bearing the Eagle; But shunned my eyes, and guiltily looked down.
then enter ANTONY and VenTIDIUS, folloa ed He seemed not now that awful Antony,
by other Commanders. Vho shook an armed assembly with his nod, Ant. Octavius is the minion of blind chance,